NWT begins search for next legislature clerk

The Northwest Territories’ legislature is searching for its next clerk ahead of Tim Mercer’s impending retirement.

Mercer has served as clerk since 2003, running the Legislative Assembly’s day-to-day affairs through the course of territorial governments led by Joe Handley, Floyd Roland, Bob McLeod and Caroline Cochrane.

He is expected to step down in early 2023.


Applications to become Mercer’s successor are due by December 30.

“The clerk of the Legislative Assembly functions in a highly politicized environment where they interact and provide services and advice directly to members, ministers and senior government officials,” the legislature cautioned in a job description associated with the post.

“The clerk is privy to sensitive and highly confidential information and must consistently demonstrate diplomacy, tact and professionalism of the highest order, particularly when disagreements or conflicts arise with elected officials.”

Mercer spent much of 2021 on administrative leave while two reviews related to his office took place.

Ottawa-based Quintet Consulting ultimately declared the workplace managed by Mercer was “divided” but not toxic and upheld one of four complaints about the clerk’s conduct.


Quintet concluded Mercer had breached confidentiality and a code of conduct in publicly discussing the detail of prior investigations into his actions, but decided separate complaints from then-chief electoral officer Nicole Latour, MLA at the time Steve Norn, and research advisor April Taylor were not founded.

The clerk is responsible for a legislature budget of around $26 million, the job description states.

Requirements listed for Mercer’s successor include significant experience working with politicians at a legislative assembly, serving as a senior executive in the public sector, and overseeing the operations of a sizeable public-sector department.